Archive for October, 2011

Kids’ Business

October 31, 2011

This post first appeared as “Rabbi Gordis Kvetches About Kids on Airplanes” on The Shmooze blog of the Forward.

Those of us who are used to reading the latest entries from Rabbi Daniel Gordis on his “Dispatches From an Anxious State” blog were surprised over the weekend to see him posting on Facebook about a different type of anxiety. Instead of commenting on Zionism, Israel and politics, as he usually does, Gordis shared with “friends” his unease about flying in business class with other people’s children.

“Serious question. Does anyone know which airlines that fly between TLV and the NYC area DO NOT allow children in business class? EL AL Israel Airlines USA does, and enough is enough. I’m told that other airlines might even transfer over my Platinum status, so if anyone know who doesn’t allow kids in business, please let me know,” the rabbi wrote.

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© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Last Chance In New Zealand

October 31, 2011

This post first appeared as “New Documentary Tracks New Zealand’s Nazi Criminals” on The Shmooze blog of the Forward.

A new documentary film is telling the story of the unfruitful efforts to bring Nazi war criminals in New Zealand to justice. According to Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, “New Zealand was the only Anglo-Saxon democracy that faced this problem and chose to ignore it. There was absolutely no political will to take legal action against the Nazi war criminals who emigrated to New Zealand in the late 1940s and early 1950s, posing as refugees fleeing communism.”

According to a report in Stuff, a New Zealand news website, a two-year police and government task force investigation in the early 1990s yielded not a single prosecution, despite a comprehensive file prepared and handed over by the Wiesenthal Center on more than 40 Nazis believed to have been hiding in the country.

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© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Tearing Down Jewish History In London’s East End

October 31, 2011

This post first appeared as “Last East London Jewish Hospital Demolished” on The Shmooze blog of the Forward.

Despite opposition, the last remaining Jewish hospital building in London’s East End will be torn down to make way for a five-story housing development. The Tower Hamlets council agreed for the Jewish Maternity Hospital on Underwood Road, Whitechapel, to be demolished because it does not have landmark status. It is neither listed by English Heritage, nor does it fall within a Conservation Area, according to a report in the East London Advertiser.

Those opposed to the demolition, including cultural and political leaders, are especially upset that the cottages next door to the hospital are also set to be taken down. They say that they are large single-family homes in good shape. “The Director of Jewish Heritage UK, Sharman Kadish, also wrote to Peabody [the real estate developer], saying the social and historic significance of the cottages next to the main hospital building have been overlooked while urging the trust to convert the cottages into residential use,” the article in the Advertiser said.

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© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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